Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We just spent a night in Marfa, Texas at a commercial campground, which might be stretching the definition. It was pretty sad looking, but we were tired and it was late. I went inside and I was told $12 dollars for no hookups. This place made me think twice about even paying that, but again we were tired. After talking it over with my skeptical wife, we decided to stay. When I went back inside they charged me $24. When I asked for an explanation they said it was $12 dollars per person. I was irritated, but paid. Then we parked out in a tumbleweed field. My wife said we should have just left. She thinks I should have come out and discussed it with her one more time, with the new pricing info. I say someone has to make a decision and that is the one I made. How should we deal with these arrangements in the future? —Seeing the Marfa Light
Well, you are in Texas and that park just charges per person from the example of their State Park system. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but that is how someone has figured it out. We spend time in Texas every year and seldom stay in their State Parks because of the per person charge, per day. In some parks that is as much as $14 extra per day, for two adults, on top of camping, unless you invest in a $70 annual pass. So depending on how much time you plan on spending in the state, do the math. If you don’t mind road traffic noise, train traffic noise and the bright lights of alien craft landing nearby, you can stay for free at the Marfa Lights roadside viewing area eight miles east of the town of Marfa on Hwy. 67.
My suggestion would be that whoever goes in to negotiate a campsite, makes the decisions. I would also add that stopping before dark, and advanced planning of some degree, will lessen the chances of having to make last minute, sometimes expensive, decisions. There is so much information available online for camping sites of all kinds. If you are not online, I suggest you get wired. It will pay for itself every month. Boondocking is the most challenging. We use "RV Boondocking," published by the Frugal Shunpikers.
Click here to visit Frugal Shunpikers Guides to RV Boondocking.
It gives us many options at one source.
—Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink